Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD (1999), Department of Urban Studies and Planning, College of Architecture and Planning

Cornell University
MLA (1991), Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture, College of Architecture, Art + Planning

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
BS Environmental Studies (1986), Faculty of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Studies



Associate Professor / Director of Undergraduate Studies
Cornell University College of Architecture, Art + Planning, Department of City and Regional Planning (2013)

Assistant / Associate Professor / Professor
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Department of City and Regional Planning (2002 – 2013)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Urban Studies and Planning (2001 – 2002)



Visiting Scholar
Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (2009 – 2010)

Visiting Assistant Professor
Harvard University Graduate School of Design Department of Urban Planning and Design (2008)

Visiting Lecturer
Nanjing University Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning (2005 / 2006 / 2007)

Fulbright Visiting Scholar
The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of Architecture (1999 – 2000)



Rome Prize Fellowship The American Academy in Rome (2011)

Guggenheim Fellowship John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2009 – 2010)

Fulbright Fellowship United States Institute of International Education (1999 – 2000)



Spiro Kostof Book Award The Society of Architectural Historians (2005)

F. A. de Montequin Prize The Society for American City and Regional Planning History (2003)

John Reps Prize for Best Dissertation The Society for American City and Regional Planning History (1999)

Outstanding Article Award Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture and Landscape Journal (1994)

Michael Rapuano Memorial Medal Cornell University, College of Architecture, Art and Planning (1990)



Books and Anthologies

Brooklyn: The Once and Future City (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019)

The Concrete Dragon: China’s Urban Revolution and What it Means for the World (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008)

The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005). Co-edited with Lawrence J. Vale.

 Republic of Shade: New England and the American Elm (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003)

 Cities from the Sky: An Aerial Portrait of America (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001)


Chapters in Books

“Saved By a Salt Marsh,” in Frederick R. Steiner, et al., ed., Design With Nature Now(Cambridge: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, forthcoming 2019)

“The Bucks Stopped Here: From Yeoman Lung to Kongjian Yu,” in Michael Sorkin, ed., Letters to the Leaders of China: Kongjian Yu and the Future of the Chinese City(New York: Urban Research, 2018)

“Schleptropolis” and “Empire of Brownstone and Brick” in Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, eds., Nonstop Metropolis (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016)

“Sprawl of the Century,” in Joel Kotkin and Alan Berger, eds., Infinite Suburbia (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2017)

“Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning,” in Tim Mennel and Max Page, eds., Reconsidering Jane Jacobs (APA Planners Press, 2011), pp. 141-179

“Urban Resilience” (with David R. Godschalk), in Rachel Weber and Randall Crane, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning (Oxford University Press, Fall 2011)

“‘As a Witness Upon the Field of History’,” in David Gobel and E. G. Daves Rossell, eds., Commemoration and the American City (University of Virginia Press, 2013)

“Hillsborough in Time and Space: A View From Afar,” in 27 Views of Hillsborough: A Southern Town in Prose and Poetry (Eno Publishers, 2010), pp. 81-89.

“Recovering New Orleans,” in Planetizen’s Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning (Island Press, 2007), pp. 110-116

“Transplanting the New Jersey Turnpike to China,” in Joseph Rykwert and Tony Atkin, eds., Structure and Meaning in Human Settlements (University of Pennsylvania, 2005), pp. 293-306

“Eden by Wire: Webcameras and the Telepresent Landscape,” in Goldberg, ed., The Robot in the Garden (MIT, 2000). Reprinted in Graham, The Cybercities Reader (Routledge, 2004), pp. 57-63

“Anti-Urbanist City Images and New Media Culture,” in Lawrence Vale and Sam Bass Warner, eds., Imaging the City: Continuing Struggles and New Directions (Rutgers, 2001), pp. 237-254

“Sir Norman Foster’s Unexpected Guests,” in Akiko Busch and David Carson, eds., Design Is . . . (Princeton Architectural Press, 2001), pp. 202 (originally published in Metropolis, March, 1995)


Refereed Journal Articles

“Playground of the Century: A Political and Design History of New York City’s Greatest Unbuilt Park.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 72:2 (June, 2013), pp. 189-204

“Mimetic Utopias: Themeing and Consumerism on China’s Suburban Frontier.” New Geographies Volume 1 (Spring 2009), pp 78-87

“‘Mark Well the Gloom’: Shedding Light on the Great Dark Day of 1780.” Environmental History 12:1 (January 2007), pp 35-58.

“Longer View: Urban Resilience and the Fate of New Orleans.” Journal of the American Planning Association 72:2 (Spring 2006), pp 1-6. 

“‘The Civilizing Road’: American Influences on the Development of Highways and Motoring in China, 1900-1949.” Journal of Transport History 26:3 (March 2005), pp 87-98

“‘A Welcome Alternative to City Life’: Perspectives on China’s Suburban Revolution.” Urban Design International 1:2 (Fall 1996), pp. 112-119

“Sanctuary in the Wilderness: Deborah Moody and the 1643 Town Plan for Colonial Gravesend.” Landscape Journal 12:2 (Fall 1993), pp. 106-130


Book Reviews

Ethan Carr, Mission 66: Modernism and the National Park Dilemma (University of Massachusetts, 2007), Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 69:1 (March 2010), pp. 117-118

Karl Haglund, Inventing the Charles River (MIT, 2002), New England Quarterly (March 2003), pp. 137


Essays and Criticism

“Watering New York’s Transit Deserts,”New York Times(13August, 2018)

“Broom With a View,”Slate(16 April, 2018)

“Brooklyn’s Levittown Before the Levitts,”Citylab(04 January, 2018)

“Under a Tungsten Sun: Mapping the Edison Bulbs of Brooklyn,”Citylab(24 October, 2017)

“How Low Did He Go?: Robert Moses and the Bridges of Nassau County,” Citylab(10 July, 2017)

“After 75 Years, the Cheese Stands Alone.” New York Times(17 July, 2016), MB1

“New York’s Washington Monument.” The Wall Street Journal (14 May, 2014)

“Robert Moses, Peddle Pusher?” The Wall Street Journal (26 June, 2012), D5

“The Rise and Fall of Edward G. Lawson.” Landscape Architecture (March, 2012), pp. 120-127

“Masterpiece: The Villa d’Este in Tivoli.” The Wall Street Journal (September 17-18, 2011), C13

“The Roman Roots of Gotham’s London Plane.” The Wall Street Journal (20 July, 2011), D5

“Icon of a Fair, a Borough, the World.” The Wall Street Journal (11 September, 2010), W13

“Portal to the Future: Shanghai World Expo 2010.” Architectural Record (August 2010), pp. 52-134

“China: As We Once Were.” Journal of Architectural Education 63:2 (March 2010), pp. 63-64

“After the Inferno.” Obit (February, 2009 – excerpted in The Wall Street Journal on 3 March, 2009)

“China’s Global Beacon” (with Wu Wei). Metropolis (December 2006), pp. 40

“Steve Nygren’s Workable Utopia.” Metropolis (May 2006), pp. 48-52

“The Great Egg of Beijing.” Wired 12:6 (June 2004), pp. 31

“Sir Gordon Wu’s American Dream.” Harvard Asia-Pacific Review 7:1 (2003), pp. 91-94

“Schooled in Design.” Wired 10:11 (November 2002), pp. 94

“Henry David Thoreau and the Yankee Elm.” Arnoldia 61:2 (Fall 2001), pp. 112-119

“New Life for an Old Airport.” Architecture (May 2001), pp. 96-97

“Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai.” Architectural Record (January 2000), pp. 82-89

“Terminal Bliss.” Wired 8:11 (November 2000), pp. 88

“Hupcapitalism.” Wired 8:09 (September 2000), pp. 79

“Kuala Lumpur International Airport.” Architectural Record (July 2000), pp. 150-153

“Shanghai – Pudong International Airport.” Architectural Record (July 2000), pp. 160-162

“Portal Call.” Wired 8:05 (May 2000), pp. 76

“Let a Hundred Subdivisions Bloom.” Metropolis (May 1998), pp. 19, 28-29

“The Rugged Steed: Mythologies of the SUV.” Harvard Design Magazine 1:3 (1997), pp. 29-32

“American Curves.” Harvard Design Magazine 1:2 (Summer 1997), pp. 40-43

“(Re)placing the City of Bricks.” Wired 5:10 (October 1997), pp. 117-118

“Who Says the Net Makes Cities Obsolete?” / “Be There Now” Salon (August, 1997)

“The Lost Creek.” Terra Nova: Nature and Culture 1:4 (Fall 1996), pp. 112-119

“The Visible City: Mexico City.” Metropolis (September 1996), pp. 27-32

“The Visible City: Shanghai.” Metropolis (March 1995), pp. 33-38

“China’s Gardens of Time and Space.” Places 10:1 (Summer 1995), pp. 4-7

“Reckoning with a Tragedy in Concrete.” Metropolis (July / August 1995), pp. 11, 15-16

“Pipe Life.” (with Shrinath Tandur) Metropolis (March 1995), pp. 76-77

“The Greening of China.” Metropolis (March 1995), pp. 35, 38

“Battlewagons of Suburbia.” Metropolis (January 1995), pp. 47-49

“Bomb Crater Fish Ponds in Vietnam.” Places 9:3 (Fall 1994), pp. 48

“A Moth Flies in Brooklyn.” Orion: People and Nature (Autumn 1994), pp. 18-19

“Transforming the Good Earth.” Landscape Architecture 84:6 (June 1994), pp. 38-39

“Public Landscapes of the Pacific.” Landscape Architecture 84:8 (August 1994), pp. 48-50


Encyclopedia Entries

“Utopian Cities.” In D. Goldfield, ed., Encyclopedia of American Urban History (Sage, 2007)

“Edward J. Logue.” In D. Goldfield, ed., Encyclopedia of American Urban History (Sage, 2007)

“Soul City.” In S. Reich, ed., Encyclopedia of the Great Black Migration (Greenwood, 2006)

“Elm Street.” In Feintuch and Watters, eds., Encyclopedia of New England Culture (Yale, 2005)



Mid-Career Grant James Marston Fitch Foundation (2012)

Short-Term Research Fellowship New York Public Library (2010)

John Nolen Fund Research Grant Cornell University (2010 / 2009)

Summer Research Stipend National Endowment for the Humanities (2009)

Benjamin Franklin Research Grant American Philosophical Society (2009)

Project Research Grants Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts (2003, 2000, 1995)

New England Regional Consortium Fellowship Massachusetts Historical Society (2004)

Robert J. Eidlitz Traveling Fellowship Cornell University (1990)

E. Gorton Davis Traveling Fellowship Cornell University (1990)



AAP Dean Search CommitteeCornell College of Architecture, Art and Planning (2017-2018)

Cornell-NYC Visioning CommitteeCornell University (2018)

Director of Urban and Regional Studies Program Cornell University (current)

Director of Graduate Admissions UNC Department of City and Regional Planning (2011 – 2013)

Committee on Buildings and Grounds University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2004 – 2013)

Campus Arts Advisory Committee University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2008 – 2013)



Friends of the Lott House Board member, Brooklyn, NY (2014 – present)

Town Planning Board Planning commissioner for Town of Hillsborough, NC (2005 – 2011)

Orange County Rail Station Task Force Led rail station site analysis and selection process (2008 – 2010)

The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough At-large member of Board of Directors (2004 – 2006)

Triangle Transit Authority Member of Artist Selection Committee, Art-In-Transit Program (2004)

Durham Area Designers Assisted in planning several community design charrettes (2002 – 2004)

Habitat for Humanity of Orange County Moderated community meetings for Sunrise Road project (2004)

AIA New York Chapter Assisted in organizing sustainable urbanism charrette in Zhongshan, China (1999)



Jury Member2019 Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Book Award Society for Architectural Historians (2018)

Jury Member John Reps Prize for Best Dissertation Society for American City + Regional Planning History

Editorial Advisory Board Member Journal of the American Planning Association

Contributing Editor Places: Design Observer

Manuscript Reviewer Yale University Press

Manuscript Reviewer Princeton Architectural Press



Columbia GSAPP“The Architecture of Aspiration.” Lectures in Planning Series (NYC, October 2017)

Roosevelt Island Historical Society“How Jamaica Bay Nearly Became a Great World Port.” (NYC, June 2017)

Kansas State University“Nature,Raceand the Origins of the American Highway.” Ekdahl Distinguished Lecturer (Manhattan, KS, October, 2016)

Beijing Forum 2015“The Rise, Fall and Renewal of American Urbanism – A Cautionary Tale.” Keynote speaker – Forum 2015: Harmony of Civilizations (Beijing, November, 2015)

National Association for Olmsted Parks “The Bridge.” Keynote speaker – Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.: Inspirations for the 21st Century (Washington DC, October, 2013)

Historic Districts Council “The Parkway and the Plane Tree.” The Great Outside: Preserving Public and Private Open Spaces (New York, March, 2012)

Rice Design Alliance “China, America, and the Urbanism of Ambition.” Keynote speaker – Chinese Architecture + Urbanism (Houston / Dallas / Austin, September – October, 2011)

American Academy in Rome “From Rome to Robert Moses.” Patricia H. Labalme Friends of the Library Lecture (New York, November 2011)

Cornell-in-Rome Program “American Curves: The Infrastructural Urbanism of Clarke and Rapuano.” Spring 2011 Lecture Series (Rome, March 2011)

Preservation North Carolina “Life in the Past Lane: History, Preservation and the Creative Economy.” Keynote speaker – Preservation North Carolina Annual Conference (Durham, October 2010)

The Cultural Landscape Foundation “American Curves: The Public Works Legacy of Clarke and Rapuano.” Shaping the American Landscape: New York and Region (October 2009)

University of California – Berkeley “The China Challenge.” Keynote speaker – Opening the Gates: A Critical Appraisal of China’s Urban Development Practices (February 2009)

University of Pennsylvania “Mimesis and Memory on China’s Suburban Frontier.” Provost’s Seminar on Historical Memory, Graduate Program in Historic Preservation (February 2009)

Columbia Business School – Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate “The Concrete Dragon.” Featured author – Discussion Across Disciplines: An Academic Roundtable (September 2008)

Center for Strategic and International Studies Respondent – Preparing for China’s Urban Billion – A Research Report by the McKinsey Global Institute (May 2008)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology “China and the Urbanism of Ambition.” Changing Cities: Celebrating 75 Years of Planning Better Futures at MIT (April 2008)

University of Michigan “Utopia on the Outskirts: Emergent Suburbia in Post-Mao China.” Keynote speaker – Global Suburbs Conference – Taubman College of Architecture and Planning (March 2008)

Università IUAV di Venezia “Reclaiming Shanghai: Urban Choreography and the Borrowed City.” Conferenze 2007: 5 Città / 5 Progetti, Faculty of Architecture (April 2007)

Tulane University “Historical Perspectives on Urban Resilience.” How Cities Respond to Disaster: A Panel Discussion on Urban Resiliency (March 2006)

German Historical Institute “Nature, Nationalism and the Origins of Elm Street.” The Place of Nature in the City in Twentieth-Century Europe and North America (November 2005)

National Building Museum “Urban Resilience and Post-Katrina New Orleans.” New Orleans: Building in the Aftermath (November 2005)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology “September 11th and the City.” The Resilient City: Trauma, Recovery and Remembrance (February 2002)

Institute for Cultural Landscape Studies – Arnold Arboretum “Republic of Shade: New England and the American Elm.” Public Lecture Series (December 2001)

Municipal Art Society of New York “Sky Pictures: The Fairchild Air Survey Company.” Public Lecture Series (November 2001)

Korea Development Institute – Center for Global and Urban Dynamics “Science Parks and the Regional Context.” International Symposium on Seoul Digital Media City (May 2001)

University of Pennsylvania “Exploring China’s Post-Mao Landscapes.” Structure and Meaning in Human Settlements (October 2000)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology “Anti-Urbanism and the Image of the City in New Media Culture.” Digital Cities: Urban Environments and Interactive Technologies (September 1998)

Radcliffe Seminars – Radcliffe College “Sanctuary in the Wilderness: Deborah Moody and the Town Plan for Colonial Gravesend.” Women / Land / Design (April 1993)



United States Consulate – Yekaterinburg, Russia Advised city planning and preservation officials in Perm, Russia on a range of issues confronting this post-industrial metropolis on the edge of Siberia (2013)

Hillsborough – Orange County Rail Station Prepared master plan for a mixed-use, transit-centered development in downtown Hillsborough, North Carolina, anchored by a new Amtrak station (2009 – 2010)

Duda Paine Architects Consulted on linear open-space network for Niangnianggong Harbor new town in Jinzhou, Liaoning Province, People’s Republic of China (2009)

Seoul Digital Media City Contributed to conceptual design and development of commercial core and “Digital Media Street” in Digital Media City, a major new town in Seoul, South Korea (2001-2002)

Project 2022: Strategies for a Competitive Hong Kong Coordinated writing and production of a com-missioned report on Hong Kong’s role in the greater Pearl River Delta regional economy (2000)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong Developed open space and viewshed master plan for 339-acre Shatin, Hong Kong campus on behalf of the Campus Develoment Office (1995)

City of Suzhou Canal Revitalization Study Led an international team of consultants to develop strategies to clean and restore the ancient canal system of Suzhou, People’s Republic of China (1995)

Metropolitan Bangkok Strategic Planning Project Assisted in developing land use and urban design plans for a series of satellite new towns in metro Bangkok for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (1994)

Deloitte, Touche, Tohmatsu Reviewed environmental impact statements from Boston’s Central Artery and Prudential Center Redevelopment as prototypes for EIS initiative of Tokyo Metropolitan Government (1993)



Office of Transportation Services Cornell University Developed campus bikeway plan, “Cornell Cycles:

A New Call for Transportation Alternatives,” using analysis of use patterns and Cornell Bicycle Survey (1991)

Office of Roger Trancik, FASLA Developed growth management plan for Yates County, New York, outlining strategies to encourage economic development while preserving pristine rural landscapes (1990)

EDAW,  Inc. Assisted with development of parks and urban design projects, including historical research for

Arverne oceanfront community in Queens, New York (1989 Summer Intern Program)

The Olmsted Center New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Prepared drawings for Cobble Hill

Park and south entrance of Flushing Meadow Park; researched plants for restoration of Alley Pond Park (1988)

Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service Performed fire suppression and conservation work throughout Alaska as crewmember and EMT on “Midnight Sun Hotshots” Interagency Initial Attack Firefighter Crew (1987)

United States Forest Service Eldorado National Forest Performed fire suppression work throughout western United States as crewmember and EMT on “Eldorado Hotshots” Interagency Initial Attack Firefighter Crew (1986)

United States Forest Service Klamath National Forest Operated fire lookout towers, participated in fire suppression work on Engine 701; assisted with logging visual impact studies and mapping of archaeological sites (1984 / 1985)

United States Bureau of Land Management Assisted Idaho Falls District forester with surveying and inventory of forest stands in Medicine Lodge Resource Area; inspected logging operations for mitigation compliance (1983)



Echo of Moscow 91.2FM Guest on “District Quarter” program on architecture and urbanism (October 2013)

North Carolina Public Radio Guest on “The State of Things” program on Hillsborough (May 2010)

KPOJ 620AM Discussed rapid Chinese urbanization on Portland, Oregon talk radio show (June 2008)

Canada Television Guest on “Canada AM” to discuss Wenchuan Earthquake in China (May 2008)

UNC-TV Interviewed on “North Carolina Now” about urban recovery and resilience (September 30, 2005)

Smart City Radio Guest on program about resilience and rebuilding New Orleans (September 19, 2005)

WBUR Boston “On Point with by Tom Ashbrook” interview on planning New Orleans (September 1, 2005)

Seattle Public Radio Guest on KUOW “Conversation” program about New Orleans (September 2, 2005)

North Carolina Public Radio Guest on “State of Things” program on street name politics (June 23, 2003)

Wisconsin Public Radio Guest on “Best of Our Knowledge” program on trees and culture (August 3, 2003)

China Central Television Interviewed on “Eastern Horizons” program on sustainable urbanism (1999)

BBC Television Talking head in “Cities of the Future” documentary about the rebirth of Shanghai (1995)



SketchUp™ (expert)  Completed Advanced Skills and Advanced Landscape training courses



FAA licensed pilot; New York State Certified Emergency Medical Technician (license expired)